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Pennsylvania company fined $1.2M after meth chemical found in Arizona

Barrels of monomethylamine are shown. (Drug Enforcement Agency Photo)

PHOENIX — A Philadelphia company was fined $1.2 million after a thousands of pounds of a lost chemical used to make methamphetamine were found in Arizona.

The Drug Enforcement Agency said Taminco US, Inc. sent 16,800 pounds of monomethylamine to unidentified customers, at least one of which was located in Mexico. The company lost track of the chemicals and did not immediately inform the DEA, as required by law.

“DEA’s enforcement of regulatory requirements is critical to the prevention of the diversion of chemicals used in the manufacturing of illicit drugs,” Doug Coleman, Special Agent in Charge of DEA in Arizona, said in a release. “When the statutory requirements are not followed, it puts communities at risk for continued illicit drug manufacturing and trafficking.”

Some of the chemicals were found in a self-storage unit in Nogales, while wrappers from some of the drums were found in San Luis.

“The defendant in this case violated the law when it chose to ship DEA-regulated precursor chemicals, which it knew could be used to manufacture methamphetamine, without following procedures designed to ensure that these chemicals do not end up in the hands of drug dealers,” First Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Louis D. Lappen said in a release.

The fine was part of a settlement. The company also agreed to heightened DEA observation.

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